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Marketers’ Confidence Index Demonstrates Consistent Results

Steve Heisler

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While growth performance, investment climate and customer spending remain positive, virtually no changes were observed over the past six months

The latest Marketers’ Confidence Index report, released in July 2019, demonstrates virtually no change since revenue growth performance, investment climate and customer spending, among other metrics, were last measured in January. The MCI itself dropped only a single point, from 122 to 121. Across the board, however, the outlook for marketers remains positive.

These results are drawn from the Marketers’ Confidence Index, a semiannual survey sponsored by the AMA and Kantar (Consulting Division) to determine the state of marketing, as told by AMA newsletter subscribers and followers. This year, 207 respondents were included, with most coming from the VP/director or manager levels of organizations—33% and 32%, respectively. More than half of these executives come from companies with 500 or fewer employees, and 31% practice both B2B and B2C work in equal parts.

The survey further dives into how those organizations are spending their marketing dollars. Currently, 27% of budgets are allocated for creative and 22% goes to media placement. Those two arenas would also see projected increases in spending should marketing budgets increase. Sponsorship was found to be the area most likely to see a decrease should budgets be slashed, by a rate of 27%.

Curiously, while customer spending demonstrated an incremental increase over the last six months—from 35% to 39%—marketing budgets have increased at lesser rates, dropping to 28% from 33%.

Still, there are plenty of reasons to remain optimistic. Revenue growth has continued to improve, with 11% of respondents claiming they are faring far better than their competitors. Changes to all numbers across the board are still far less significant than when the Marketers’ Confidence Index sank from 131 to 122 between July 2018 and January 2019.

Participants also shared some of the most exciting developments in their field, which included marketing automation via AI, targeted metrics, expanded digital marketing possibilities and a shifting technology landscape.

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Download the full survey here.

Illustration courtesy of unDraw.

Steve Heisler is staff writer at the American Marketing Association. His work can be found in Rolling Stone, GQ, The A.V. Club and Chicago Sun-Times. He may be reached at sheisler@ama.org.